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The Diary of Dan Cooper
(© Joseph Rubas)

Page 1

Nov. 24, 1971-Itís late, but Iím too wired to sleep. Iíve been sitting here by the fire listening to the wind shriek for...what, two hours? And all I can think is, ďGod loves me.Ē That Iím even here proves that. The 200,000 in the briefcase next to me...well, thatís the icing on the cake.

I keep replaying the whole thing over and over again in my mind, and I still canít believe that I actually did it. I hijacked a fucking airplane and jumped out of it. I wonít lie, I was scared shitless as I stood on the airstair, looking out into the vast white vortex before me. It was snowing much harder than I had anticipated, and the wind was so fierce I had to hold onto the railing to keep from being sucked away. I almost chickened out. I almost turned around and went back to the cab. Iíd sit there in the warmth, smoke my cigarettes and drink my bourbon, and try to come up with another plan. But that was crazy. Iíd never get away.

So I swallowed my fear, closed my eyes, and flung myself into the night.

Iím not sure exactly how cold it was, but rushing toward the ground, it felt like a million below zero, at least. I must have passed out somewhere in mid-air, because I donít remember anything between just after I jumped and the moment I hit the ground.

Serendipitously, I came down on a barren ridge rising from the forest (Iíd fully expected my chute to get caught in a tree) and landed in a big, fluffy pile of snow.

I worked to hurriedly cut the chute loose, the wind-driven snow lashing me, nearly shoving me off of my feet. My fingers were numb, my face was numb, my eyes were numb. Iíd never been so cold in my life. And stupid me, I was dressed in nothing but a cheap suit, a pair of briefs, and a cheap, scuffed up pair of loafers.

When the cord finally snapped, I jumped to my feet and fumbled for the little pocket compass. West it was. From the drop point, the hunting lodge was maybe three miles, a little dilapidated shack nestled in a grove of dead trees.

†It seemed like it took me hours to find the old oak with the red ribbon tied around the gnarled trunk. Wilhelm, I thought smilingly as I touched it, knowing I was close. Another ten minutes later, and I was at the cabin. The front door was locked and the porch collapsing. Around back, the door was unlocked but I had to clear a shitload of snow before I could open it.

Inside, the kitchen was dark and coated with heavy dust. A table and chair lie in shards on the floor. The cabinets on the pale yellow walls hung askew and the old refrigerator stood ajar.

I shut the door, latched it, and went into the living room. Near the front door, I found the supplies that Wilhelm had left for me. Food. Medicine. Warm clothes. A pistol. A flashlight. Some other things. He even included a six pack of Coca-Cola. The thoughtful old lug.

Inventory done, I stoked a fire in the stone hearth with wood Wilhelm had stacked along the far wall, and spent an hour or so warming up and snacking on beef jerky and cola. I was too excited to sleep, so I took the flashlight and explored. I found this notebook in an upper office. A few pages had been used, crowded with Wilhelmís tight script. Accounting. Something like that. I donít know. Each used page had a date in the upper right-hand corner. April-August, 1968. I ripped them out and left them in the drawer.

Itís late, and I have to get some sleep. As much as I donít wanna go back out into that shit, I canít stay here. The cops will be all over this place by morning. I'll write more tomorrow. Promise.


Nov. 25, 1971- I woke up around eight, and wolfed down a can of pork and beans while looking out the window. The storm left about nine inches, at the very least. The groundís piled with it and the tree branches are almost snapping under the glistening white weight. I wonder if theyíll delay starting the search. Probably not. I better get going.

Later

Okay, stopped for the night. Itís about an hour or so before sundown, but I came across a convenient little cave in a hillside and figured Iíd better be safe in case I didnít find anything else. I investigated it beforehand to make sure no cranky bears were inside, and it checked out. There are some strange drawings on the walls, though, accompanied by alien hieroglyphics. I bet itís left over from the Indian days. Pretty interesting. I thought of going deeper and seeing if I could find any pottery, arrowheads, things like that, but decided against it. If I slip and fall or something, Iím fucked, and I wonít do something stupid this late in the game. Iím rounding third and heading for home.

[ Continue to page 2 ]



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Genre:General Horror
Type:Short story
Rating:7.07 / 10
Rated By:20 users
Comments: 1 user
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